Home / Education / Ateliers

Cumberland Atelier

Training your Eyes, Mind and Hands



1978 Wilson Pike, Franklin, TN, United States

  • Details
  • Faculty
  • Instructor Works
  • Student Works
  • Other Images
  • Event Listing

The aim of the Cumberland Atelier is to provide consistent, personalized instruction to the individual student in the context of the classical tradition, so that he or she may translate that training fluently into his or her own work. 

We at The Cumberland Atelier believe that creativity is supported by knowledge; that  on a foundation of understanding, artists can spread their wings and fly. Our goal is to provide that foundation of the requisite skills in drawing and painting, both conceptually and practically. We work with talented people of all ages, nurturing and instructing them in the basics such as anatomy, color theory, proportion, perspective and composition. 

The course of an artist’s training is long, if not infinite, and as much as it requires determination on behalf of the student, it also requires attentive guidance on behalf of the teacher. The duty of the teacher within the atelier, therefore, is to find the ever-moving point of contact between the student’s individual needs and the overarching principles of the craft of painting. As such, the atelier must be an intimate environment, where there can exist a clear, sustained dialogue between student and teacher. The Cumberland Atelier will aim to uphold this type of learning environment through offering ongoing classes with a limited student capacity. The courses that are held throughout the year are designed to build on themselves, so as to provide a continuity between their various lessons, and furnish the student with the appropriate skills.

Founded 2003
Course languages English
Accreditation Florence Academy of Art, Robert Douglas Hunter Boston School Atelier, ARC
Part-Time Instructors 3
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 34
Accommodation No

Part time: EUR 200 / month

Full time: USD 2000 / semester

Cumberland Atelier

1978 Wilson Pike

Franklin, Tennessee, United States

Gayle Levée

Senior Artist and Founder

Gayle Levée is a third-generation artist whose classical training began during childhood.Her parents were both artists, as was her grandfather. Levée majored in painting at the University of Denver. While still in school, she supported herself on sales of her art in galleries in Taos, Santa Fe and Estes Park. In her early twenties, she moved East.

In New England, Gayle joined the Copley Society and studied under Robert Douglas Hunter. Her new work was quickly recognized by galleries in Boston, on Cape Cod, in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and the Central South. Collectors from coast to coast have bought her work, which has won awards throughout the United States.  

Levée's workshops in the Boston School of painting have been featured in American Artist magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur. Recently her work was featured in American Art Review, along with that of her mentor, Robert Douglas Hunter. 

Levée conducts an atelier program  in Nashville and Franklin. She has also produced, through Legacy Learning Systems, a digital instructional set of ten dvds and a full color book. Through this effort, Levée has taught students worldwide. 

Her work is currently available through Bayview Galleries Maine, Powers Gallery  Acton Mass., Bryan Memorial Gallery Vermont, Richland Gallery Nashville, and the Boston Design Center, Boston.

Richard Greathouse


Nashville native, Richard Greathouse, until recently resided and painted in Italy. He has been teaching at the Florence Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 2011. In the summer of 2019 he returned to Nashville to become a part of the Cumberland Atelier. Although he is classically trained in the manner of the old masters, Richard seeks to extend these traditions into a contemporary context. His technical strength in drawing along with a deep understanding of human anatomy are evidenced in the naturalistic works he creates on canvas and paper. As he moves forward in his career, he continues to develop his philosophy of seeing and further hone his craft, while receiving international recognition for the artistic merit of his work.

Marty Welsh


Marty Welsh completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Dallas in 2013, after which she chose to continue her studies in painting and anatomy at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Upon graduating from the three year painting program in 2017 she was offered a teaching position at the Florence Academy of Art. She continued to teach there as co-director of the écorché program, in addition to working in her own studio, before relocating to Nashville Tennessee where she is a part of the Cumberland Atelier. She has taught private lessons and workshops in both Italy and the US.

Ian White


I am Ian.

Hello. Thanks for being interested in a little about me. Let’s see if i can give you a brief, but helpful, look into the relationship between art, and myself.

I have been interested in art my whole life. It was always what i gravitated towards. I began my professional art career in 2003 when i finished my apprenticeship as a tattoo artist. I have been tattooing full time ever since, and opened my own studio, Safe House Tattoo, in 2012. I had always had an interest in learning to work with oil paints, but was always a bit intimidated by them. I would watch tutorials, webinars, and workshops but be too scared to start a painting. Then, in 2013 i broke my wrist in a scooter accident and was not able to tattoo for a while. So i ran out of excuses and started painting for hours every day. Once i got a few under my belt i realized how fun and forgiving a medium oils are.

That led to my journey into instruction. As i would meet people who have an interest in art, i would hear a lot of “man, oils seem scary.” So i began to teach to dispel these myths and evangelize people into the beauty of not just working in oils, but in diving into art as a whole. I see art as a literal “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” world. You have to put in the work though. Thats all it takes, is all the work.

Inspiration by Gayle Levée

Raku by Gayle Levée

Sweet Water by Gayle Levée

Lunette by Gayle Levée

A Garden of Old Fashioned Roses by Gayle Levée

Camilla by Richard Greathouse

William by Richard Greathouse

Winter Branch by Richard Greathouse

By Marty Welsh

By Marty Welsh

By Marty Welsh

Hand Study

Skull Study

Animal Skull Study


Still Life

Planes Study


Completed glazing project

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Cast Study at Plaza, 633 Middleton St. Nashville TN

Painting in Natural Light at On-Track Studio, 1978 Wilson Pike, Franklin TN

Online Study at Studio Levee

Online Sound Studio

08 April 2021 to 27 April 2021

Customized At-Home Painting Seminar An Interactive Online Class

200 USD

Customized At-Home Painting Seminar
from 25.00
Instructor: Gayle Levee

Thursdays, April 8 - May 27

9:00 am to Noon Central Time Online

$200, eight-week class


Working with me in your own studio, you will learn about composition, technique and so much more. I will help you develop your own creative voice. This type of learning is incredibly successful, as I can show you directly - on your own painting, using editing tools - what you will need to address. People who have taken this class have been thrilled with the advancement of their art!

05 April 2021 to 25 May 2021

Flowers in the Landscape How to Simplify a complex Subject

200 USD

Flowers in the Landscape
$25 deposit; $200 for eight weeks
This is an Online Zoom class.

April 6 - May 25, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Central Time Online

Wherever you are, springtime heralds the return of brilliant color. Let’s paint it! In this class, you will learn how to simplify a complex subject to create the feel of blossoms without painting every one.

We’ll work from your sketches, photos or your own imagination. I’ll demonstrate composition, color and techniques. This online class will replace (for now) our Tuesday On-Track classes.

08 April 2021 to 27 May 2021

Interior Florals Still Life Painting in the Boston School Tradition

200 USD


This is an online Zoom class, eight weeks beginning April 8. 1:00 - 4:00 pm



Price is $200 for eight weeks. Your $25 deposit will hold your space

Floral subjects can tell a story if you include a setting for them. In this class we’ll create arrangements with meaning. And of course flowers will be the centerpiece - how can we resist such beauty?

This is a Zoom class, complete with demos and lots of personal attention.

07 April 2021 to 26 May 2021

Online Figure Painting

300 USD



Online Figure PaintingInstructor: Richard Greathouse

Dates: April 7 - May 26

Time: 10:00am - 1:30pm US Central Time (CDT), including a half hour break

Cost: $50 per day ($300 total)

This is an online class held via Zoom.

In this class, we will take a detailed approach to making a single figure painting over the course of 6 weeks. Throughout this process we will make anatomical drawings to better understand our subject, while also discussing materials and modes of observation. Concepts in drawing will also be heavily stressed.

Reference will be provided, and prior painting experience is strongly recommended.

In addition to live feedback during class, students will also have full access to the class recordings.